It sounds like you've determined the part about wearing gloves because you've harvested some!
I wear gloves for handling, even after my fresh leaves have been in the fridge a few days.I have heard it recommended to even handle dried leaves this way! Around the farm they are so out of the way of day-to-day activity, that we never have bad experiences with them anymore. On your land, if they are invasive to the point that you don't want that many plants where you actively play, I would get dressed in long thick sleeves that don't hike up, long pants and gloves and dig it up by the pile, roots and all, and put it onto tarps to dry out, and then burn it.
If you don't dig out
nettle roots and all(or any invasive you're trying to clear), it will grow right back, stronger! Cutting from the top will make your "weeds" stronger.
I have made a nettle infusion, by steeping 1/2 C dried nettle in a quart jar topped with boiling water overnight, covered on the counter, then straining, then refrigerating for the day. I drink it throughout the day. I started with 1 C of dried nettle to a quart jar, and it was too powerful for me, so I cut the dried amount in half. I infuse, because I want the calcium, the Vit K, A C, and the tonnes of minerals. When I take the cover off in the morning it is thick and very seaweed green. Gorgeous goodness!! The kids drink it, and we like it mixed with water, chilled or added to smoothies. I really notice the groundedness and even-keeledness all day long. It seems to be feeding my long-suffering adrenal glands, and leveling my blood sugar nicely.
So, so far, I'm using purchased dried nettle from the HFS, and then as I figure out how to successfully dry some, I will jar tonnes and keep it for Fall/Winter use. My first attempt at drying in a very cool oven, resulted in blackish dried nettle leaves that looked wrong, compared to the brilliant green of my purchased stuff. The plants I'm harvesting are now between 4'' to 8'' depending how much sun they're getting. I will harvest until flower set, which I think should be around late June here. I'll keep my eye on them. At that point they are not ideal to harvest, but you can then whack all of the plants down, and then enjoy a second flush of regrowth, just like perennial flowers in the garden. Put the cut plants in flower in your compost to accelerate it, so I hear. We will try this to test it out this year, as with the lovely chooks and their poop, I have nice compost going.
We make a potato florentine soup and sub in 5 C of fresh nettle for the spinach. The kids can't eat enough of this soup!!! It is from the Moosewood cookbook, called "Moosewood Restaurant New Classics". Matthew's learning consultant from SelfDesign is a nettle-head and he puts it into scrambled eggs, into lasagne, into any soup or stew he makes, and makes nettle-kopita from them.
Susun Weed had great things to say about nettle; I'm learning much from her site. And here's a fave blog
and this woman is a herbal wise woman too, and has several posts on nettle...